(Sankei: June 25, 2015 – p. 5)
Mie Prefecture will host the Ise-Sima summit of the major industrialized nations next year. A number of municipalities across the country are now bidding to host ministerial meetings of the summit. Sendai is regarded as the most likely city to host a financial ministerial meeting. In addition, the government has started arrangements on a plan to hold a foreign ministerial meeting in Hiroshima, which is the home turf of Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. As part of the government’s efforts to revitalize regional economies and communities, an idea being floated is holding ministerial meetings in more than ten places nationwide.
A total of 14 cities and towns have already put themselves forward as candidates to host ministerial meetings. The government plans to make a decision in June on the venues for ministerial meetings. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to choose places that have strong messages as the venues for ministerial meetings, as well as from the perspective of revitalizing regional economies.
Sendai, likely for the finance ministerial, will be able to appeal on its reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake to the Summit member countries. Hiroshima, a candidate for the foreign ministerial, will be able to convey the importance of peace and nuclear abolition as a city representing the only atomic-bombed nation.
In addition to an economic impact, the venues for ministerial meetings can be expected to boost their international profiles. At a press conference on June 23, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga emphatically said: “From the viewpoint of revitalizing regional economies and communities, we will make arrangements with the municipalities putting themselves forward as candidates to host the ministerial meetings in mind.”
Various municipalities are actively working on hosting a ministerial meeting –Kyoto City and Beppu City in Oita Prefecture focusing on attracting more tourists from overseas, Niigata City aiming at doubling its exports of agricultural products and Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture appealing on science and technology.